Syntace Vector 31.8 Carbon Fiber Bar 740mm Review

Jun 30, 2010
by Craig Sumner  
Catering for both the mountain biking and road riding communities Syntace has a plethora of products to suite every riding style.

Their new Vector 31.8 carbon fiber 740mm wide bar is aimed at the weight conscious rider looking for a wider, low rise bar to get more control and comfort out of their ride without sacrificing strength.

Shiny Carbon
Shiny Carbon

The Vector 740mm is suitable for all types of riding; being light enough for cross country and all mountain, with its strength and ergonomics leaning it more towards the fast and rough rigors of downhill use.

As with all Syntace products the Vector 740mm has been thoroughly tested in house to surpass all industry safety standards including Syntace’s VR-3 downhill standard DH 2002.4, the world‘s toughest test standard for handlebars and stems. Syntace’s faith in their product and its strength is reflected by the “no questions asked” 10 year guarantee on all defects of materials or workmanship.

The width, available sweep options and strength make this bar an excellent option for gravity orientated riders everywhere whilst offering many benefits over an aluminium bar.

 740mm Width 12 Degree Sweep
740mm Width 12 Degree Sweep


Features:

• Available in 680mm or 740mm (can be shortened to 700mm)
• 8˚,9˚ and 12˚ sweep options
• 10mm rise
• 31.8mm clamp size standard only
• 209 grams claimed for 740mm version (213 grams actual for the 740mm width 12˚ sweep)
• New carbon composite construction
• Loading optimized cross section
• Reinforcement in critical areas
• Central In molded titanium lattice stem clamping area
• Glass fiber in the bar ends to enable cutting to 700mm
• Full compatibility with four bolt stems

Excellent Graphics and Finish
Excellent Graphics and Finish

First Impressions:

The first thing you notice when taking the Vector 740mm bar out of the box is how astonishingly light this bar is for its stature. The wide and beefy bar is truly featherweight and it is only when you put the bar onto scales that you realize just how light it is at 213 grams for the 12˚ sweep option. As far as I’m aware that makes the Syntace Vector 740mm the lightest mountain bike bar of this width in the world! It also makes the Syntace bar lighter than many other manufacturer’s narrower carbon and aluminium offerings!

213 grams, 4 grams heavier than claimed
213 grams, 4 grams heavier than claimed

After getting over the initial beauty of the bar you soon notice the attention to detail and thought that has been put into this product: from the intricate titanium lattice molded into the stem clamping area all the way to the neat cutting guides for those brave enough to take a fine toothed saw to these bars!

Titanium Reinforced Clamping Zone
Titanium Reinforced Clamping Zone

After reading the many instructions and warnings that come with the bar the mounting process can begin. Mounting the bar to my bike was fairly simple, but could be considered a more time consuming process than that of mounting a similar aluminium bar.

RTFM!
RTFM!

Friction paste must be applied to the clamp areas of all components to be mounted to the bars. This enables the use of reduced torque to prevent damage or crushing of the bar and to maintain the same amount of grip on the bar from the stem, brake levers and shifters (a small sachet is provided with the bar).

Note: As with all carbon bars some components from some manufacturers are not recommended due to the risk of damage to the bar. These can include components with asymmetric clamp styles (i.e. Sram XO) or point pressure clamps (grub screw type i.e. Sunline grips) and traditional bar ends. Syntace makes this very clear in the user instructions. For the purpose of a balanced review I will be running this bar with Syntace’s recommended set up of their own brand Superforce stem and grips as well as my own setup of a Thomson Elite X4 stem and Token lock on grips in combination with Syntace’s CRB bar plugs specifically designed for carbon bars.

Once all the components are mounted and torqued up to the specified rating (being very careful not to exceed the clamping ratings) the bars are ready for a first ride.

Tidy New Front End
Tidy New Front End

After a period of getting used to the bars, the extra control over my previous 710mm wide by 20mm rise bars was very noticeable. Steering became more precise and controlled and holding lines was less effort. The extra leverage made holding lines through rough and technical sections a breeze whilst the dampening ability of the carbon composite removed the small vibrations from the trail increasing the comfort of the ride. The low rise and wide stance of these bars inspires confidence and provides a much more comfortable controlled riding position. At first having my weight much lower and further over the front end was a bit odd, but after a few runs the benefit was clear. The added weight saving over my previous aluminium bar is also another clear benefit, improving the overall handling of the bike.

The only negative point so far is that the surface finish picks up fine scratches very easily, although this isn’t noticeable unless you’re looking very closely.

The Vector 740mm Bar is available direct from Syntace or in the UK through Posh Bikes and has a UK retail of £135.

For more information on Syntace, their product line up and their testing methods as well as international distributors check out syntace.com/.


16 Comments

  • + 9
 Carbon, carbon, carbon... Next week, someones gonna have a carbon chain.
  • + 1
 Amazing idea!!
  • + 5
 carbon carbon carbon, like it or not, there will be mor mor morrrrrrrrr! So learn to like it Wink Some still have a bitter taste in their mouths because of air sprung suspension Wink

BTW: carbon bars are made since 5 years or so...
  • + 1
 I do like it. Easton CNT bars are my faves, but just aren't wide enough. Hopefully, these set a benchmark and others follow suit.
  • + 1
 too wide for me , would be a shame to have to bust out the hacksaw on this. :p

agreed carbon is the future though.

ps. whats wrong with air shocks? I use them on all of my bikes.
  • + 1
 I thought UncleCliffy is a bit pesimistic on CF. There's nothing wrong an air shocks Wink
  • + 2
 Carbon chain has already essentially been done with the carbon belt drive!
  • + 1
 ^^^and don't forget carbon chainrings a few companies have put out already!

@WAKIdesigns Quote: "BTW: carbon bars are made since 5 years or so..."

IDK where you been, but carbon bars, posts, and other things been out for more than 5 years! The 1998 K2 5500FS was a full carbon frame and came with LP-Composites components(which were well known for their wild tiger weave carbon/kevlar composites)
  • + 5
 not to bad a price for a carbon bar, but personally they look a little bit bland.
  • + 1
 I like it, not everything carbon needs to show off the classic weave
  • + 4
 great bars, but to be honest wouldn´t want to pay so much money for a bar!
  • + 1
 Wantwantwantwantwantwantwantwantwantwantwantwantwant!!! Great review dude. Need to get myself a set! Also, would just like to note that you can run asymmetric clamps on the bar, but it requires modifications in the form of filing all sharp edges before installing and you also need to use a lot less clamping force. I.e more like 2-3nm instead of say 5nm. But real weenies use alloy bolts for brake levers and shifters which will shear at over 3nm, so no problems there! tup
  • + 1
 Yes, for example you can run Sram X0 but at considerablly less clamping force (1.5nm i think)
  • + 1
 dabomb666 - for DH, on my Cove Shocker, which would feel most like a 770mm Boobar only lower? The 9 degree sweep or the 12 degree sweep?
  • + 1
 depends what the rise and sweep of your current bar is? im riding the 12 degree sweep but have it turned forward to dial the sweep in to my taste,whilst the rise remains real low. im afraid ive not ridden the boobar.
  • + 0
 very miimalist, from the looks of it, it's unidirectional carbon, the way of the future I suppose.

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